Despite a substantial societal shift towards environmental consciousness, waste of every type remains an issue. Every day in towns and cities all over the world, people continue to discard a vast amount of non-biodegradable refuse, including cartons, bottles, plastic bags, glass, and styrofoam containers. However, it isn’t only plastics, card or packaging that present an issue; according to the UN Food Agency, a third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. In the light of what scientists project is a global environmental crisis, consumers are becoming increasingly concerned, while many companies aren’t making a great enough effort to move towards environmentally friendly practices, like eco packaging or upcycled ingredients.
Consumer consciousness and waste
Our throwaway culture is becoming an increasingly contentious issue and consumers are looking for more ways to conserve resources. In spite of the attitudes of many corporations or states, people are increasingly turning to environmentally responsible companies. For instance, 44% of American millennials say that following environmentally friendly practices is one of the best ways for a brand to prove that it reflects their personal values (Mintel, Marketing to Millennials, 2019). Meanwhile, in China – a country which is currently ranked as the planet’s largest polluter – 85% of Chinese 20–49-year-olds agree that a socially responsible brand is more likely to have better quality products (Mintel, Attitudes towards Corporate Social Responsibility – China, 2019).
Eco packaging, upcycling and brand image
As such, it is essential that the cosmetics industry heeds consumer concerns about waste. At every level of operations, companies should seek to reduce organic and non-biodegradable waste in order to cultivate a positive brand image. Cosmetics companies should explore eco packaging solutions and innovative processing techniques, particularly the on-trend tendency towards ‘upcycling’. Driven by research conducted at the University of Leeds, upcycled formulations use by-products from the food industry to make new beauty ingredients, thus promoting a ‘zero waste’ manufacturing cycle.
Moreover, these innovations need to be communicated clearly to the consumer. The beauty industry has a responsibility to instill a stronger sense of urgency in the general public, actively encouraging them to change their habits and minimize waste, Through sustainable, effective formulations, eco packaging, and a clear message of environmental consciousness, the beauty industry can capture consumers for whom sustainability is a key concern while encouraging the wider market to embrace environmental responsibility.
Provital’s approach to environmental responsibility
Provital keeps the environment at the core of our operations. Alongside our social responsibility projects – such as our collaboration with farmers in Mexico, which is cited as an exemplary project by the UN Development Programme – we have a robust wastage policy. Approved by the Royal Society of Chemists, this policy ensures that we reduce all types of waste throughout our formulation and manufacturing processes. Through saving energy, re-utilizing residues, and cutting water consumption we aim to develop our ingredients in the most sustainable way possible. Together with manufacturers that market beauty products directly to the consumer, we can move towards a more environmentally-friendly beauty industry.